January 2015
Brought to you by Dairy's Professional Development Organization



IT'S HERE! THE 2015 PDPW BUSINESS CONFERENCE SPEAKER LINE-UP! Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19 will be two jam-packed days of industry connections for you, including five inspiring keynote speakers, 17 specialty sessions, 3 additional stages with 18 presentations in the Hall of Ideas, evening entertainment and aisles and aisles of preferred providers waiting to connect with you. Where else can you find so many resources to help your dairy thrive? CLICK HERE for the conference flyer and to register.

DAIRY PROFESSIONALS: WANT CEU CREDITS while you gain knowledge about various facets of the dairy industry? Almost every session offered is approved for CEU credits for the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine and American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. Other CEU credits may be available for participation in other upcoming PDPW-developed events. Find out more when you view our complete programs list at www.pdpw.org


NO MATTER WHAT THE SIZE OR TYPE OF YOUR DAIRY, a system of written documents can lead to better decision making. If you are among the dairy producers who want to know what numbers are most important, how to interpret financial statements, how an income statement impacts a balance sheet and how to use the right numbers to make decisions, then register today for a PDPW-developed Dairy Financial Workshop set for Tuesday, Feb. 10, at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Workshop trainers will set the stage from both sides of the financial scene: Steve Schwoerer, a dairy specialist with Badgerland Financial, and Gary Sipiorski, a former ag lender who spent 17 years with Citizens State Bank and now a consultant with the Vita Plus Corporation. Going from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the workshop will include interactive and team-based sessions, including one that puts dairy producers in the lender's chair, observing a case study farm's financial performance through the eyes of a lender. This workshop is an accredited training program with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine for up to 6.3 CEUs. For additional information on this workshop, please check out the brochure by CLICKING HERE. To register, please call PDPW at 800-947-7379 or CLICK HERE. Due to limited space, pre-registration is required.

For your dairy business... 


COWS WITH A HIGH GENETIC MERIT FOR ENERGY have a significantly earlier resumption of ovarian activity after calving. That's the findings of German researchers exploring the relationship between postpartum energy status and fertility. Using regression models to assess the effect of genetic merit for energy status on different traits, and on subsequent reproductive performance of 824 high-producing dairy cows, researchers found that an energy balancer (indicator) trait should be included in future breeding programs to reduce the currently prolonged anovulatory intervals after parturition. To read their abstract, CLICK HERE



THE SUPPLEMENTATION OF MASTITIC DAIRY COWS with antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, C and E and antioxidant minerals such as selenium, zinc and copper has been shown to help the animal recover early. After investigating the oxidative stress in dairy cows' mastitis and the roles of VA and BC, VC, VE, Se, Zn, and Cu in mastitis of dairy cows, research Feng L. Yang and Xiao S. Li found that it's important that dairy farmers have their animal feeds tested and their rations evaluated by a competent nutritionist and a trustworthy laboratory "to be sure what levels of supplementation may be warranted. In their report published in the Journal of Advanced Veterinary and Animal Research, the researchers noted that, "while inadequate intake and absorption of certain nutrients may result in a weakened immune system and perhaps more mastitis during the lactation period, unjustified supplementation can be expensive and lead to other animal health problems."



EAT, REST, RUMINATE. And, of course, drink and stand or walk in alleys. That's pretty much describes a cow's day. After reviewing numerous research trials, the Miner Agricultural Research Institute has developed a daily time budget to help dairy producers create a lactating cow environment that can positively affect dairy cows' abilities to rest and ruminate. The Miner's Institute's recommendations: 

  • Eating: 5.5 hours (9 to 14 meals/day); 
  • Resting, 12-14 hours with 6 hours of rumination; standing or walking in alleys, including grooming rumination and other, 2-3 hours; 
  • Drinking, 30 minutes. 
That comes to a total of 21 to 23 hours. This daily time budget emphasizes the importance of creating barn conditions that allows cows maximal time for both resting/rumination and eating: adequate feedbunk space and avoid over-stocking of freestalls. Increased resting or lying time can lead to other benefits such as increased blood flow to the mammary gland, less stress on hooves and a reduction in lameness and fewer tired cows. Dr. Rick Grant with the Miners Institute said he believes one hour of additional resting time can result in 0.91 kg more milk per day.


OSHA & THE MIGRANT AND SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKER PROTECTION ACT will be the focus of an "OSHA Inspection Preparedness" World Class Webinar scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 11. Led by DeWitt Ross & Stevens Law Firm, this webinar will discuss the federal statute as it relates to your employees and how the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act can be tied to OSHA. Be in the know so the federal statute doesn't become an issue when OSHA inspects your farming operation. The webinar, which has a Feb. 4 registration deadline, will be broadcast live Feb. 11 from noon to 1 p.m. CST. If you have a date or time conflict, you can watch a fully recorded version at your leisure-but you must register by the Feb. 4 deadline. For more information, CLICK HERE or call PDPW at 800-947-7379.



GET THE ANSWERS TO COWS + PEOPLE + SUN + AIR at one of the two upcoming Agricultural Community Engagement� (ACE) meetings: Monday, Feb. 24, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., or Tuesday, Feb. 25, Green Bay, Wis. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Towns Association, Wisconsin Counties Association and PDPW, each information-rich meeting is for community leaders, elected officials, conservation officials, dairy and livestock producers and Wisconsinites who want to grow communities that are vibrant and green. Both days of learning and important dialogue start at 9 a.m. and wrap up by 4 p.m. Speakers and sessions include:

Dennis Frame on the Yahara Pride Farms Project
Dennis Frame on the Yahara Pride Farms Project
  • Jeff Endres, a Wisconsin dairy farmer who is active in the Yahara Pride watershed project. The project is an ongoing partnership between dairy farmers, neighbors and researchers who aim to discover the best ways to manage agricultural practices, utilize the state's natural resources, and account for soil nutrients that once were lost.
  • Tucker Burch, research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Burch leads the risk assessment portion of Wisconsin's nutrient irrigation study. He walks fields, studies air and water quality, and will lead a discussion about what is best for the environment in our rural communities.
  • Brenda Murphy, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Murphy will depict the impact Wisconsin's dairy industry has on our rural communities and on the state as a whole.
  • Sgt. Mike Klingenberg, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Rob Richard, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, will share the current status of the legislation governing agricultural equipment on roads and how these new regulations affect town and county road systems.
  • Secretary Ben Brancel, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Secretary Brancel's presentation will balance challenges and opportunities at the state level with the challenges and opportunities for rural communities.

To register for an ACE meeting, please contact the Wisconsin Towns Association at 715-526-3157. You can find a flyer on the PDPW web site by CLICKING HERE. Share the flyer with your neighbors and community leaders!



CAFO OWNERS, MANAGERS, NUTRITION MANAGEMENT PLAN WRITERS & ENGINEERS: Seven annual CAFO meetings are on tap across Wisconsin in February: Monday, Feb. 2, Jefferson; Tuesday, Feb. 3, Green Bay; Wednesday, Feb. 4, New London; Friday, Feb. 6, Dodgeville; Tuesday, Feb. 10, Fond du Lac; Wednesday, Feb. 11, Marshfield; and Thursday, Feb. 12, Rice Lake. Registration for each meeting will start at 8:30 a.m., with the meeting going from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Attendees will be given information to improve nutrient management plan implementation and to enhance communication between plan writers, permit holders and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-and information on regulations that may affect large farming operations. Registration fee includes lunch. To check out specific locations, topics and speakers and/or to register, CLICK HERE.   



THE GOAL: LESS THAN 4% DISPLACED ABOMASUM. To achieve this goal, however, requires careful feeding and management. To reduce the risk of a displaced abomasum, Maurice Eastridge, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, advises dairy producers to provide a balanced diet - especially for fiber and energy - as well as ample bunk and resting space to cows before they calve. Eastridge says, when a DA occurs after 60 days in milk, "it is best to review dietary fiber and particle size, proper operation of the feed mixer and scales and feeding procedures by employees." He adds that reducing the risk for a DA improves cow health and well-being, increases milk sold and reduces veterinary costs.



A CALF'S LYING TIME MIGHT BE A CLUE if it's feeling a bit off. Research from the University of Guelph shows that, depending on their age, calves spend an average of 16 hours to 20.6 hours each day lying down. While the older the calf, the less its lying time, calves with a fever had lying times that were 44 � 14 minutes greater than healthy calves. With a large part of a calf's daily time budget spent lying down, researchers stress that the resting surface plays an important role in maintaining calf health, adding that "effort spent to provide adequate resting space with a clean, dry surface and ventilation that removes ammonia near the bedding surface will be rewarded with healthier calves." Guelph researchers recommend that group housing system designs include resting space that enables all calves to lay down 75% to 85% of the day. In cold weather, the resting surface should not contribute to heat loss, and deep straw may be used to provide nesting sites that increase insulation. During hot weather, bedding hutches with inorganic material such as gravel or sand may help to keep calves cool because some body heat will be transferred to the bedding. Researchers point out that "understanding the amount of time that calves spend lying down should make it obvious that maintaining calf pens is not a 'minor' task on the daily list of chores. In addition, attentive calf managers may be able to use changes in lying behavior to identify sick calves early."



TO IMPROVE YOUR HERD'S REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE, vaccinate for BVD. That's the findings of a recent meta-analysis by researchers at Auburn University. Researchers found that abortion in cattle vaccinated against BVDV decreased nearly 45% compared to unvaccinated controls. Fetal infection also decreased by almost 85% in vaccinated animals, and pregnancy rate increased by approximately 5% in field trials of BVDV-vaccinated animals. Researchers concluded that "the decision to vaccinate is the most important consideration when a decrease in BVDV-associated reproductive disease is desired." They noted that vaccination in combination with a sound biosecurity program can "greatly limit the negative reproductive impact of BVDV infection." 


YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED WHAT MEASUREMENTS CAN TELL YOU. Recent research data out of Pennsylvania State suggest that calf hip height and body weight can be useful predictors of milk yield, while calf growth rate and starter feed intake can impact mature cow body weight.  Data from six different calf trials conducted at Pennsylvania State were compared to 134,469 daily milk records and 37,403 body weights to determine how heifer growth traits correlate with milk yield and mature cow body weight. Animals were classified into three categories-low, intermediate and high-according to their body weight, hip height, growth rate and starter feed intake. Calves that were classified in the intermediate-body-weight category tended to produce more milk during the first 10 weeks of lactation than cows classified as having low or high body weights as calves. Additionally, cows classified in the low-hip-height group as calves produced less milk during the first 10 weeks of lactation when compared to cows classified in the intermediate- or high-hip-height category as calves. Calves classified in either the low-growth-rate or the low-starter-feed-intake group also tended to be lighter as mature cows when compared to the intermediate and high classifications of their respective categories.



TAKE CARE OF YOU WHEN WORKING IN THE COLD. The University of Maine reminds farmers to dress like an onion in winter: yes, dress in layers. That includes wearing two layers of gloves or mittens: one for insulation and one for waterproofing. Another tip is to pace yourself, being reasonable about the duration and difficulty of a task. While the task might be a cinch in warmer weather, ice or snow can change the work. Also consider access around your farm and equipment. Because the sun sets much earlier in winter months, you should plan accordingly to finish your work before dark to avoid having an accident. University personnel also advise farmers to carry a few basic items in case of an emergency: PPE, a first-aid kit, a pocket knife or multi-tool, a headlamp and a cell phone. You should also tell someone where you'll be working and when you'll be done. That way, if you don't show up, someone can start looking for you.


Member Spotlight:
Tri-Fecta Farms Inc.


Katy Schmidt, Tri-Fecta Farms Inc.

Raising enough crops to use on the dairy and growing even more crops to market is one way Tri-Fecta Farms Inc.in Fox Lake, Wis., handles volatility and keeps viable. They also take advantage of milk marketing.


This second-generation dairy recently transitioned from parents Keven and Cheryl Schultz as owners to their children: Katy, Nick and Kari. Keven and Cheryl started farming in 1975 and established the current family business under the name Fox View Dairy. Today, the new name is Tri-Fecta Farms Inc. The dairy milks about 400 cows, raises its own youngstock and grows corn and wheat.


With different markets to watch, from milk to corn and wheat, Tri-Fecta Farms Inc. looked to PDPW and found commodity marketing classes.


"That really helped. It made us feel more comfortable with marketing," Katy states. "It gave us a new perspective. We've been better able to position our dairy against volatility in milk and grain prices."


With networking playing a vital role in farming, Katy said that she and other family members take advantage of the information and networking available at PDPW's Business Conference each year. She calls the Conference, and other PDPW workshops and events, a "hub" of dairy producers passionate about their livelihoods.


"PDPW provides resources to improve your bottom line, webinars essential to manage your time and much, much more. The cost is minimal, and the information is pertinent. From rules and regulations to new research and development, there is always something for everyone," Katy says.


The value PDPW brings is in your hands, Katy says. "As much as you invest is what you will get out."


OUR PDPW SPONSORS support continuous improvement for the dairy industry.They believe in producer leadership, and they place a high value on lifelong education for those involved in the dairy industry. We deeply respect their commitment to us. It is by this partnership that we continue to build a strong industry filled with capable professionals. Click here to see a list of our sponsors. If you interact with any of these companies, please thank them for supporting PDPW!


For your business mind...



EVERY CAREER NEEDS A CORNERSTONE- a firm foundation on which you build. PDPW encourages individuals who are in a dairy-related field and either transitioning into management, looking to make a smooth career transition or just beginning their career to take advantage of Cornerstone Dairy Academy™. Cornerstone begins one day prior to the 2015 PDPW Business Conference in Madison, Wis., March 17, and overlaps day one of the conference, March 18. It is designed to give you the "soft skills" that can propel your career forward. These "soft skills" are the very ones employers cite as a top consideration when hiring or promoting employees into leadership positions. Any dairy producer or other professional in the dairy industry, as well as students pursuing dairy-related careers in college and technical college programs, may apply for this training. Age is not a consideration for selection. Employers are encouraged to urge employees to apply. 


Cornerstone Dairy Academy is an application-based program with a limited number accepted into each program. Tuition for Cornerstone Dairy Academy includes lodging, meals, training and admission to Day 1 of the PDPW Business Conference, with a significant percentage of tuition underwritten by Professional Dairy Producers Foundation. 

To be considered, individuals must apply by Feb. 15. Accepted applicants will be notified by Feb. 27. Details and an application can be found by CLICKING HERE or by calling 800-947-7379.


ARM YOURSELF WITH THE TOOLS to create a proactive communication plan for your dairy during a specialized workshop Thursday, Jan. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Baraboo, Wis. The training, a part of the PDPW Dairy's Visible Voice� curriculum, will be led by Renea Heinrich, public relations counselor at MorganMyers. Heinrich will help individuals define the farm's communication goals and objectives and identify key messages to build their public relations efforts. By the end of the training, participants will understand what it takes to build public trust and increase two-way communication between the farm and their neighbors. To register for the workshop, contact PDPW at 800-947-7379, or find the flyer with more information and registration details by CLICKING HERE.



GO BEYOND JUST BEING LIKABLE. Jeff Haden, contributing editor of Inc., offers 10 tips for being a genuinely polite person-the person who makes others feel comfortable, respected and valued so they want to be around you, work with you and do business with you. 

  1. No matter how great their perceived status, remarkably polite people step forward, smile, tilt their head slightly downward (a sign of respect in every culture) and act as if they are the one honored by the introduction. 
  2. Keep using the name the person used to introduce him/herself. Don't get over-familiar by using a nickname for him/her. 
  3. Except for the initial handshake, don't touch the other unless he/she touches first.
  4. Never let on that you know more than you should - even if you read it from their social media. Keep topics related to your shared interest or profession, sports, the weather, etc. Only talk about personal subjects the other person actually discloses in person. 
  5. Do not ignore "the elephants." For example: If an acquaintance's mom died a few weeks ago and you see him, remarkably polite people bring up the event. They keep it simple, like, "I was sorry to hear about your mother. I've been thinking about you and am hoping you're doing OK."
  6. Don't gossip or listen to gossip.
  7. Do not speak just to share the greater glory of yourself. 
  8. Do not push your opinions or judge the person you are speaking to.
  9. Be a master at social jiujitsu, the ancient art of getting the other person to talk about herself/himself without the person ever knowing it happened. Haden notes, "Social jiujitsu is easy. Just ask the right questions. Stay open-ended, and allow room for description and introspection. Ask how or why or who." 
  10. Remarkably polite people keep on being polite - partly because they know no other way to be, but also because they know there is no other way to be. 
NOTE: Why not try these tips at the 2015 PDPW Business Conference, March 18-19, and reap the results!


A DREAM IS JUST A DREAM. A GOAL is a dream with a plan and a deadline.  Human resource guru Brigette Hyacinth advises individuals wanting to achieve a goal to invest and form meaningful relationships with others who provide a solid supportive network you can trust, are honest with you and will encourage you. The friendship between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison spanned more than 30 years, and underscored "iron sharpens iron."  Ford and Edison encouraged and inspired one another, often contributing to each other's work. 

  • NOTE: The 2015 PDPW Business Conference, "Connections," is the place to be March 18-19. Here you can invest and form meaningful relationships with fellow dairy producers and other industry professionals and experts. You can learn more about the 2015 PDPW Business Conference - who's presenting, specialty sessions, keynotes, and more - the PDPW website at www.pdpw.org


BOOK REVIEW: NEVER EAT ALONE:  AND OTHER SECRETS TO SUCCESS, ONE RELATIONSHIP AT A TIMEThis bestseller by master networker Keith Ferrazzi underscores the importance that "you can't do it alone." And, while we all know that relationships are significant in our lives, the author takes the concept to the next level. As Ferrazzi points out, "what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships-so that everyone wins." In his book, Ferrazzi distinguishes genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handling usually associated with "networking." He then distills his system of reaching out to people into practical, proven principles. The 17 chapters of this book cover everything from "don't keep score" and "build it (community of people) before you need it" to "follow up or fail" to "the art of small talk." It's the perfect book to read before you attend any business conference where you can make new connections-or renew a connection. 


PASSWORDS ARE OFTEN THE FIRST DEFENSE FOR SENSITIVE INFORMATION. Unfortunately, Heinan Landa with The Business Journal points out that they are also relatively easy to crack. To create strong passwords, Landa offers these tips: 
  1. Stay away from proper nouns, dictionary words, foreign words or ordered number sequences. 
  2. Length matters more than complexity: The longer your password, the more time it will take password-cracking software to access it. Whenever possible, use a minimum of nine characters. 
  3. Use unexpected substitutions and transformations: "Oranges" is a very easy password to crack, but so are the common variations "Or@nges" and "Or@nge5". Do the unexpected by inserting a random character in a nonsensical way, like "Or_ang$eshe". 
  4. Use special characters that are less common, such as: ]"{}|;':,./?`~]}/. If you can, try to use at least two. 
  5. Variety is the spice of security: Mix it up: use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols and alternate characters to make your password more secure. 
  6. Use phrases, not personal information.  Your phone number, house number, pet's name and zip code are insecure passwords. However, a phrase that's easy to remember - like "My Ha1r is 8loNd!" - is extremely secure. 
  7. Don't Change. Or, at least, change infrequently. Recent data suggests that traditional practices for securing passwords by changing them every 90 days can actually lead to greater exposure to hacking. Why? Because no one can remember multiple passwords that are changed frequently so they start writing them down, something you should never do. 
  8. Never use the same password on multiple accounts: Even if it's a solid password, its security benefits dissipate as soon as you begin to use it for more than one login. In one fell swoop, your Amazon account but also your PayPal account, your bank account, could all be compromised. 


PDPW Education Calendar


January 13-15
Managers Academy for Dairy ProfessionalsTM, Charlotte, North Carolina.
January 29
Dairy's Visible Voice Training, Baraboo, Wis.
February 10
Dairy Financial Workshop, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
February 11
World Class Webinar: OSHA Inspection Preparedness - "The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act."
February 24, 25ACE Regional Meeting, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. & Green Bay Wis.
March 17Cornerstone Dairy Academy™ ("Influental Leasership" and "Visionary Leaders"), Madison, Wis.
March 18-19
PDPW Business Conference, Alliant Energy Center - Madison, Wis.
April 18-19
PDPW Youth Leadership Derby, Waupun, Wis.

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